As Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert prepares to hand over power to his successor, Benjamin Netanyahu, we’re reminded in a piece by Haaretz’s Amos Harel that even though Olmert’s tenure was beset with political troubles, international and sub-national crisis and a massive corruption scandal, Israel’s enemies could not relax.
Despite his deficiencies, the prime minister has throughout his term demonstrated a steely determination in leading military operations into enemy territory. A series of decisions, some of which we only learn of through reports in foreign media, reflect a willingness to take risks in approving distant, secret operations aimed at ensuring Israel’s strategic position.
First and foremost is the decision to destroy the nuclear facility in Syria. Also of paramount importance was the attack on the cache of Fajr missiles on the first night of the Second Lebanon War and (according to foreign media), the bombing in Sudan, and the liquidation of senior Hezbollah operative Imad Mughniyeh and Syrian general Mohammed Suleiman.